Restaurant: It’s a Bao Time
Location: 230 Commerce Valley Drive, Unit 2A, Markham, ON L3T 7Y3
Price Range: $
It’s A BAO time for Markham to have a restaurant that sell dem baos! Get the joke? Yes? No? Ok guess I’m lame lol.
If you know me, you know I live in downtown core so I have the luxury of having access to any restaurants that sell bao (i.e. Banh Mi Boys, Lucky Red), but Markham people don’t (hah!). So when Nerine (Instagram @nerine_gnauh) and I heard that It’s a bao time just opened near Duo (review here), the true inner foodie woke up inside of us and we (or Nerine) immediately drove us to the shop.
Just like the name suggested, the restaurant specialized in baos, but also banh mi and surprisingly Asian fusion tacos! Similarly to the concept of Banh Mi Boys, you are supposed to order at the cashier, pick up your food when it’s ready and seat anywhere. However the space at It’s a bao time was more spacious and it was really clean.
Nerine and I decided to order a few baos and tacos to share. We also wanted the kimchi fries but thought it was a bit too much since Nerine was going to give me a foodie adventure in Markham that day.
For $5 the bao was tiny and the pork belly was like a piece of bacon. I could tell the meat was frozen and it lacked any sort of flavors. The vegetables were just… cold lettuce with carrots, thus it would have been better to pickled the carrots to cut the fattiness of the pork belly. There was also supposed to be a hoisin mayo sauce but I couldn’t taste any of it. The bao itself was cold and not as soft as the ones I had in downtown, overall a very disappointing dish.
The duck confit was packed with flavors, tender and juicy! I think more sauce would have been nice and the taco shell was able to held all the ingredients together without breaking apart. Again what’s with the raw and bland vegetables?
The beef was soft and really good as well but lacked that sweetness that you often find in Korean beef bulgogi. The taco itself was not too spicy and I found the corn was a nice addition to cut the heat from the jalapeno. My only complain was that there was too much bulgogi sauce, either they added some extra or it came from the meat… I literally picked up the taco and tilted it for a good 20 seconds to get all the sauce out before proceeding.
Though It’s a Bao Time is a nice addition to the uptown food scene, sadly to say this place is nothing like Banh Mi Boys or Mean Bao, so don’t come here and expect the food to have the same quality as those restaurants. However they have only been opening for a month or two, I do believe that the restaurant can easily improve their food and portion by experimenting and perhaps reading the reviews they’ve been receiving thus far on Yelp.